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Health, Safety, and Sustainability in the Modern Food System

Thursday, October 4, 2012 | 04:30 PM

Yale Law School, Room 120 | 127 Wall Street, New Haven, Conn.
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Please join us Thursday, October 4, for a panel discussion on health, safety and sustainability in the modern food system.

Please join the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Yale Sustainable Food Project on Thursday, October 4, for a panel discussion on health, safety, and sustainability in the modern food system. Panelists include Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, UT Law Professor Thomas McGarity, Urvashi Rangan, director of Consumer Reports’ consumer safety and sustainability group, and freelance journalist Kristin Wartman.

The panel, moderated by Yale Sustainable Food Project Director Mark Bomford, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Susanne Stahl at susanne.stahl@yale.edu.

Mark Bomford is the director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. He has been immersed in creating sustainable food systems for the last 15 years. He has worked in a variety of roles ranging from farming to leading food-centered organizations in Canada and internationally. An innovator in both non-profit and academic contexts, he has founded and managed projects focused upon urban agriculture, community food security, and food systems modeling and research.

Mark's career in the sustainable food movement began in 1997, when he founded the successful "Growing Schools" initiative with the LifeCycles Project Society in Victoria, BC, establishing school gardens throughout the city and developing garden-based curricula that continue to benefit thousands of students today. He went on to coordinate the internationally-awarded "DIGS" youth empowerment and entrepreneurship project, helping to establish new farms and food enterprises through the region, and co-managed the society's overall domestic and international urban agricultural operations during five years of intense growth.

In 2001, Mark moved to the University of British Columbia, where he worked to re-invent the UBC Farm. Starting from a largely abandoned agricultural research site destined for market housing development, Mark planned and advocated for the creation of a farm-based practical and multi-disciplinary sustainability learning and research program with an international scope. He founded the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC in 2005, and led a rapid physical and programmatic expansion that saw new cultivated crops, research projects, university courses, and community programs added on an annual basis. In 2010, the 60-acre UBC Farm received protected status as a green academic zone on campus.

Mark joined the Yale Sustainable Food Project in October 2011. He looks forward to deepening the impact and broadening the reach of the Project as it enters its second decade of playing a transformative role in the larger food system.

Randy Garutti is the Chief Executive Officer of Shake Shack. Randy is responsible for the performance, excellence, profitability and direction of Shake Shack. Prior to leading Shake Shack, Randy was a senior manager at USHG for eight years, most recently as Director of Operations, overseeing the operations for all USHG restaurants. In 2006, he was named one of Crain’s Top 40 under 40.  In addition, Randy served as General Manager of Union Square Cafe and Tabla, both of which have won numerous accolades in the hospitality industry. In January 2003, Randy was named one of the Top 50 General Managers in the country by Nation’s Restaurant News. Before joining USHG 13 years ago, Randy was the General Manager of the acclaimed Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. Prior to that, Randy worked in various management roles with Chart House Restaurants in Aspen, CO and Maui, HI. Randy graduated from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in 1997 and also studied at La Sorbonne in Paris.

Thomas O. McGarity is the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law. A former Articles Editor of the Texas Law Review, Professor McGarity is a leading scholar in the fields of both administrative law and environmental law. He also teaches torts. He has written five influential books: The Preemption War: When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries, (Yale University Press 2008), Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research, (Harvard University Press 2008) (co-author), Workers at Risk (Praeger, 1993) (co-author), The Law of Environmental Protection (West, 2nd ed., 1991) (co-author), and Reinventing Rationality: The Role of Regulatory Analysis in the Federal Bureaucracy (Cambridge, 1991). His recent articles include "Hazardous Air Pollutants, Migrating Hot Spots, and the Prospect of Data-Driven Regulation of Complex Industrial Complexes," 86 Tex. L. Rev. 1445 (2008). He is the immediate past president of the Center for Progressive Reform. 

Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. leads the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports. She is responsible for managing risk analysis, policy assessments, label evaluations and consumer advice for tests, reports, and related advocacy work.  Urvashi joined the organization in 1999 and developed the ratings system, database, and Web site, Eco-labels.org for evaluating environmental and food labels. In 2005, she managed the launch of GreenerChoices.org, which covers green aspects over a wide range of products and services.

Urvashi serves as a national spokesperson for Consumer Reports in the areas of sustainable production/consumption practices, food safety, and product safety issues related to chemical and contaminant hazards. She has testified before Congress, regulatory agencies, and state legislatures on issues ranging from bisphenol A and the organic label to green-washing and clean-product ingredient disclosure. In 2011, she helped lead a decisive victory in a widely publicized debate on the benefits of organic production.  She was part of the team that worked on the Sigma Delta Chi award-winning food and supplement magazine reports, highlighting public health concerns. She was also one of the chief architects of the arsenic and lead in juice study that contributed to lawmakers introducing legislation limiting kids’ exposure to these heavy metals.

Urvashi received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and conducted her post-doctoral work at the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute. She was a National Institutes of Health fellow from 1990-97.

She was recently asked to serve on the medical advisory board for the Dr. Oz Show. Urvashi enjoys cooking, composting, and gardening, sustainable-style.

Kristin Wartman is a nutrition educator and journalist focusing on the intersections of food, health, politics, and culture. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Civil Eats, and Grist, as well as in academic journals such as Critical Quarterly, Tikkun Magazine, and The New Labor Forum. She is a frequent guest on radio and TV and has been interviewed by NPR, The BBC, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. Her work has also been referenced in dozens of publications, including The New York Times.

Kristin is a Certified Nutrition Educator and works as a nutrition consultant with various doctors in New York City. She also holds a Masters Degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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